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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Most Influential Women: Terri Tucker-Wiest

Phoenix Home Care and Hospice | Tucker Resources

Posted online

Terri Tucker-Wiest’s career reveals she has a coach’s heart.

Through her current role leading Phoenix Home Care University for the health care company to starting Legendary University decades ago for Herschend Family Entertainment, Tucker-Wiest is all in on training workers for improvement and excellence.

Phoenix Home Care and Hospice founder Phil Melugin hired Tucker-Wiest as director of culture and employee engagement in 2011. At the time, she was 15 years into running her own leadership coaching company, Tucker Resources. By 2015, she launched the PHCU corporate training curriculum for Phoenix, and has since conducted 120 high-level classes to nearly 1,700 employees.

“These training centers bring cutting-edge learning to the leadership team and the field staff,” Tucker-Wiest says. “We offer in-person, engaging learning experiences, as well as easy-to-acquire virtual classes and inspirational messages.”

PHCU wasn’t her first experience with a corporate training curriculum.

In the early 1990s, Tucker-Wiest started working in marketing for HFE, the owner of Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson. She impacted the culture in a big way.

“When we realized that genuine friendliness in service delivery was a true differentiator, I launched the creation of Legendary University, a cultural training center enabling all to deliver the mission of Silver Dollar City and sister properties,” Tucker-Wiest says. “We created a hiring filter, screening in friendly people. We trained the behaviors of friendliness.”

Two years later, she says SDC was named Friendliest Theme Park in the World by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Through Tucker Resources, which is still going today, she has facilitated strategic plans and training programs for Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Missouri Association of Manufacturing and the Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors. She’s also a published author of “Iron Wolf: Creating an Exceptional Culture of Engagement and Responsibility.”

Tucker-Wiest takes her leadership skills into volunteerism, where she’s helped raise over $200,000 to grant scholarships through the Reeds Spring School Foundation and served as treasurer for the district’s Vote Yes Prop RS campaign that helped secure approval of a property tax increase benefitting the schools.

At Phoenix this past year, she says the training has been more important than ever.

“COVID has impacted our health care industry greatly,” she says. “Low staffing levels have forced many members of leadership to head to the field to care for our clients. Fear of the virus has increased anxiety.”

However, Tucker-Wiest says PHCU addresses these issues and inspires great performance that’s noticed in client feedback.

“I am most rewarded when a caregiver, nurse or leader sends me a note stating how badly they needed and how greatly they appreciated the connection,” she says.

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